If Newcastle do not play well this afternoon at Anfield, we really have no excuses, because we’ve had a full uninterrupted week of training with the full squad available at Benton, to fully prepare for the game at Liverpool.
There’s a big prize if Newcastle can indeed win this game, because it will be the first league win at Anfield since April of 1994 when we won 2-0, and it will also see Newcastle in 6th position in the league table tonight.
It’s another important game for Newcastle today, and it gives us the chance to see just how good Newcastle are this season, and we are currently in 10th place in the league table with 13 points form our first 9 games.
That’s 6 points short of where we were last season after 9 games, but a win today would make it 7 points from 3 games, since we were dismantled by Manchester United at St. James’ Park 3-0 – a very disappointing result for us.
Demba Ba will have a fitness test shortly before this afternoon’s game, but we’ll assume for purposes of team selection that he is not fit.
Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic are all out with long-term injuries, so apart from those three, Demba Ba is the only injury doubt today, but of course Cheick Tiote will be serving the second game of a three match suspension for being sent off at Sunderland.
Here’s a side that Alan could start today with the 7 subs:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Gutierrez Cabaye Perch Ben Arfa
Ameobi (Sh) Cisse
Subs: Harper Taylor (S) Ferguson Bigirimana Vurnon Obertan Ameobi (Sa)
So there’s no place on the bench for players like Mehdi Abeid, Sylvain Marveaux and Romain Amalfitano, but they could all get a chance in Belgium on Thursday night, when we play Club Brugge in the Europa League Group D game.
The keys to the game are that the defense can be solid against some good players in the Liverpool side, and especially against Luis Suarez, who is always dangerous, and the Uruguayan will likely fall down in the penalty area at the slightest touch from a Newcastle player – so we’ll have to watch for that.
And if Ba doesn’t play it’ s a big opportunity to see Shola and Papiss in action together, and both have something to prove, and hopefully Papiss can add to his one Premier League goal he scored last week, and Shola has still to score in the league this season, although he does have one goal to his credit this season.
We like Shola up front, because as we mentioned before last week’s game, he can head on the balls and set up Cisse or Ba with some decent chances, and he did that last week for Ba.
And we have to hope the Papiss Cisse will be able to take any chances he gets today.
Newcastle have everything to play for this afternoon, and we can bury that stat of no league wins at Anfield since April of 1994, when Kevin Keegan was manager.
And we could see Newcastle in 6th place in the league this afternoon, assuming we pick up all 3 points – and that’s where we need to be.
Let us know how you think the game will go this afternoon.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org